“Michael Cohen took this step today so that his family can move on to the next chapter. This is Michael fulfilling his promise made on July 2nd to put his family and country first and tell the truth about Donald Trump. Today he stood up and testified under oath that Donald Trump directed him to commit a crime by making payments to two women for the principal purpose of influencing an election. If those payments were a crime for Michael Cohen, then why wouldn’t they be a crime for Donald Trump?”
Surprising no one, President Donald Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, had a very different take on what had happened at the court when Cohen plead guilty to multiple counts of bank fraud, tax fraud and, most importantly for Trump, campaign finance violation.
“There is no allegation of any wrongdoing against the President in the government’s charges against Mr. Cohen,” Giuliani said in a statement this evening. “It is clear that, as the prosecutor noted, Mr. Cohen’s actions reflect a pattern of lies and dishonesty over a significant period of time.”
Giuliani is referencing Robert Khuzami, the deputy U.S. attorney in New York, who commented after Cohen’s exit that the bank and tax fraud crimes to which Cohen confessed “are very serious charges and reflect a pattern of lies and dishonesty over extended period of time.”
The U.S. Attorneys office said in a statement, of Cohen’s crimes, “The defendant caused and made payments described herein in order to influence the 2016 presidential election. In so doing, he coordinated with one or more members of the campaign, including through meetings and phone calls, about the fact, nature, and timing of the payments.”
This morning Cohen turned himself in to authorities and plead guilty to eight counts of tax evasion on
personal income taxes, giving false statements to a bank, and and how he violated campaign finance laws.
Asked by the judge to describe that last crime, Cohen said that, in coordination and at the direction of “the candidate for federal office”, he had made payments of more than $100K to a woman, and coordinated a national publication’s payment of $150K to another woman, both at direction of this candidate.
While implicating Trump, Cohen did not name POTUS by name. But his lawyer’s statement this evening clears up any possible question as to who he was talking about in the court.
Cohen also did not name by name Stormy Daniels, the porn star who says she was paid $130K, nor Karen McDougal, the former Playboy bunny who said she was paid $150 by National Enquirer for rights to her story, then killed it.